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CMOs in Flux How Leading B-to-B Marketers Are Coping with Turbulent Economic Conditions and What Changes They Expect to Make in 2010.
Marketers surveyed 39 marketing leaders 36 firms 17 industries
Marketers—doing more with less
2009 budgets are way down
But 2010 budgets are looking better
Cuts have forced program changes
Changes have included… “ Cutting trade show expenses.” “Reduce live events.” “More digital, electronic marketing.” “Cutting print ads to fund social media, content creation.” “More webinars, more streaming video.” “Account-based marketing, with rifle shot tactics.” “Eliminated many events due to low attendance.” “Formed a global marketing team, centralized functions.” “More client-directed and targeted communications.” “Drastically improved sales support.” “More clarity on calls to action and measurable ROI.”
Types of cutbacks made
What tactic was the hardest to cut? “ Advertising,” (6) “Advertising (and, as a result, we’ve lost momentum).” “Print advertising and large-scale events that had been parts of our marketing program for many years, but drove no tangible business.”   “Many examples, but the most difficult was completely cutting a touch point in a campaign.” “New market development that would have supported future increased revenue.”
Any cuts that didn’t cost gains?
Such as… “ Trade shows.” (4) “Several shows were cut and we did not see the pain we thought we might.” “Expensive events that we were obliged to attend in the past but hard to measure ROI on.” “Traditional advertising.” (3) “Some of our general awareness advertising campaigns.” “Traditional advertising. As it turns out, it doesn’t seem to be a real problem. So far I have received NO complaints from product managers or regional sales. Their satisfaction is due to the increased leads coming from social media.”
Single highest-ROI tactic right now? “ Paid search.” (5) “PR.” (5) “Direct mail and/or email.”  (4) “Social media.” (3) “Events and trade shows…both physical and virtual.” “Sales force training and enablement.” “Webinars coupled with eBooks.” “Maintaining pricing discipline.” “Thought leadership outreach—particularly with client involvement in videocasts, seminars, etc.”  “Customer loyalty campaigns.” “Company web site.”
Less or more important in 2010? 76% 75% 74% 73% 66% 64% 64% -6% -6% 0% -18% -3% -6% -6%
Less or more important in 2010? 63% 58% 58% 58% 57% 54% 49% 0% -3% -13% -6% -14% -11% -11%
Less or more important in 2010? 49% 46% 46% 43% 29% 21% 16% -19% -12% -11% -3% -34% -27% -45% 13% -55%
Is your marketing mix more digital?
Expected digital share of 2010 budget 3% 8% 13% 11% 26% 32% 8%
Response to changed buyer behavior? “ We have unbundled services.” “We are being more aggressive with our solutions that save money.” “We have responded with our own stimulus packages.” “Continuing to educate and engage…to be there when funds free up.” “We’re revisiting and reassessing tactics for their effectiveness.” “We have responded with more consistent outreach efforts to keep the issues, and our solution, in front of customers more regularly.” “It’s causing us to react on the fly with more marketing to ensure the buyer converts.” “We have focused on thought leadership.”
Confident you have optimal mix?
What gives you such confidence? “ Bonafide sales leads generated.” “We have implemented a 360-degree measurement system so we can measure the revenue we influence.” “Our customers will let us know as their engagement with digital marketing tools increases and  their response to traditional marketing tools decrease.” “Measurement of different participation and ROI when we run the same program using different media.” “There is no right mix—it constantly changes and evolves, and we continually tweak our media portfolio using quantitative and qualitative measurements.” “Using multiple streams and watching conversions to see how much we can shift in one direction. But, let’s face it, some of this is just instinct.”
Greater demand for measurement? 44% 5% 28% 23%
Budget for marketing R&D?
New platforms/ideas being tested? “ Online training.” “More online advertising on new sites.” “Finding audiences within existing verticals/markets.” “Video, social media and [lead]-nurturing programs.” “Adoption of technology throughout the marketing function.” “Social media tracking and web conversion tools.” “Top secret!”
Thank you!

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CMOs in Flux

  • 1. CMOs in Flux How Leading B-to-B Marketers Are Coping with Turbulent Economic Conditions and What Changes They Expect to Make in 2010.
  • 2. Marketers surveyed 39 marketing leaders 36 firms 17 industries
  • 4. 2009 budgets are way down
  • 5. But 2010 budgets are looking better
  • 6. Cuts have forced program changes
  • 7. Changes have included… “ Cutting trade show expenses.” “Reduce live events.” “More digital, electronic marketing.” “Cutting print ads to fund social media, content creation.” “More webinars, more streaming video.” “Account-based marketing, with rifle shot tactics.” “Eliminated many events due to low attendance.” “Formed a global marketing team, centralized functions.” “More client-directed and targeted communications.” “Drastically improved sales support.” “More clarity on calls to action and measurable ROI.”
  • 9. What tactic was the hardest to cut? “ Advertising,” (6) “Advertising (and, as a result, we’ve lost momentum).” “Print advertising and large-scale events that had been parts of our marketing program for many years, but drove no tangible business.” “Many examples, but the most difficult was completely cutting a touch point in a campaign.” “New market development that would have supported future increased revenue.”
  • 10. Any cuts that didn’t cost gains?
  • 11. Such as… “ Trade shows.” (4) “Several shows were cut and we did not see the pain we thought we might.” “Expensive events that we were obliged to attend in the past but hard to measure ROI on.” “Traditional advertising.” (3) “Some of our general awareness advertising campaigns.” “Traditional advertising. As it turns out, it doesn’t seem to be a real problem. So far I have received NO complaints from product managers or regional sales. Their satisfaction is due to the increased leads coming from social media.”
  • 12. Single highest-ROI tactic right now? “ Paid search.” (5) “PR.” (5) “Direct mail and/or email.” (4) “Social media.” (3) “Events and trade shows…both physical and virtual.” “Sales force training and enablement.” “Webinars coupled with eBooks.” “Maintaining pricing discipline.” “Thought leadership outreach—particularly with client involvement in videocasts, seminars, etc.” “Customer loyalty campaigns.” “Company web site.”
  • 13. Less or more important in 2010? 76% 75% 74% 73% 66% 64% 64% -6% -6% 0% -18% -3% -6% -6%
  • 14. Less or more important in 2010? 63% 58% 58% 58% 57% 54% 49% 0% -3% -13% -6% -14% -11% -11%
  • 15. Less or more important in 2010? 49% 46% 46% 43% 29% 21% 16% -19% -12% -11% -3% -34% -27% -45% 13% -55%
  • 16. Is your marketing mix more digital?
  • 17. Expected digital share of 2010 budget 3% 8% 13% 11% 26% 32% 8%
  • 18. Response to changed buyer behavior? “ We have unbundled services.” “We are being more aggressive with our solutions that save money.” “We have responded with our own stimulus packages.” “Continuing to educate and engage…to be there when funds free up.” “We’re revisiting and reassessing tactics for their effectiveness.” “We have responded with more consistent outreach efforts to keep the issues, and our solution, in front of customers more regularly.” “It’s causing us to react on the fly with more marketing to ensure the buyer converts.” “We have focused on thought leadership.”
  • 19. Confident you have optimal mix?
  • 20. What gives you such confidence? “ Bonafide sales leads generated.” “We have implemented a 360-degree measurement system so we can measure the revenue we influence.” “Our customers will let us know as their engagement with digital marketing tools increases and their response to traditional marketing tools decrease.” “Measurement of different participation and ROI when we run the same program using different media.” “There is no right mix—it constantly changes and evolves, and we continually tweak our media portfolio using quantitative and qualitative measurements.” “Using multiple streams and watching conversions to see how much we can shift in one direction. But, let’s face it, some of this is just instinct.”
  • 21. Greater demand for measurement? 44% 5% 28% 23%
  • 23. New platforms/ideas being tested? “ Online training.” “More online advertising on new sites.” “Finding audiences within existing verticals/markets.” “Video, social media and [lead]-nurturing programs.” “Adoption of technology throughout the marketing function.” “Social media tracking and web conversion tools.” “Top secret!”

Editor's Notes

  1. Just like their companies, and just like their customers, b-to-b marketing leaders are in flux, based on a survey that my firm conducted in early September 2009 with…
  2. … 39 mostly CMOs and VPs of marketing who work at a total of 36 large enterprise and middle market firms in 17 different industries. While all of the marketing leaders we surveyed are based in the U.S., many (at least half) have global responsibilities.
  3. When asked which statement best described their situation, 63% said they’re “doing more with less,” 3% said they’re doing the same with the same,” 26% said they’re doing more with the same,” and 8% (lucky dogs) are “doing more with more.” Based on some verbatim responses elsewhere in the survey, we should have asked if anybody was doing less with less. If they were being totally honest, I think more than a few folks would have said yes. We will add this question next year.
  4. Two out of three marketers are doing the same or more with less because they’ve seen dramatic declines from 2008 to 2009 in their marketing budgets. One out of four saw 25%+ budget cuts year over year. More than half saw 10%+ budget cuts. Only one out of 10 said their 2009 budgets were untouched over 2008. And 19% said they’d actually seen budget increases.
  5. The budget picture for 2010 is actually quite encouraging, relatively speaking. Only 18% of the marketers we surveyed said they expect further budget cuts, although 13 of that 18% said the cuts would range from 10-24%. Some 38% said they expected no change. While 43% of the 39 marketers said they expected increases, half of the anticipated increases will be less than 10%.
  6. Not surprisingly, budget cuts have forced four out of five of the marketing leaders we surveyed to make changes to their departments, strategies and programs.
  7. While the changes, cuts, adjustments and reallocations have been varied, it seems to me that many of the changes you see here fall into the category of things they probably should have done some time ago. Funny how an economic downturn can force us to make overdue changes to how we operate.
  8. How marketers have gone about making actual program cuts is interesting and, I would say, quite sensible. Only a tiny 3% have implemented across the board cuts—in effect, giving everything and everyone an equal haircut. Instead, almost nine of 10 said they have been more surgical—cutting specific programs or tactics in order to spare or even increase funding of others.
  9. Ironically, although many marketers said print advertising and trade shows were the least hard-working tools for them, when asked which tactics were the hardest to cut, quite a few said advertising and large-scale events, or at least the significant costs associated with exhibiting at those events. A number of others who’d had to cut new market development funds, segmentation projects and other investments that support the creation of future revenue streams said these were the hardest cuts.
  10. Then we asked if they’d made any cuts that they’d been worried would cost them gains but that actually didn’t or haven’t thus far? Almost half said they had not seen a negative impact from certain cuts they had been sure would set them back.
  11. No surprise, the cuts they cited were traditional marketing tactics like advertising and trade shows. With regard to trade shows and big events, one marketing leader said, “Several shows were cut and we did not see the pain we thought we might.” With regard to print advertising, one marketer said, “It doesn’t seem to have been a real problem. So far I have received NO complaints from product managers or regional sales. Their satisfaction is due to the increased leads coming from elsewhere, including social media.”
  12. Then we asked them what is the single highest-ROI tactic they’re using today. Paid search, PR, email and direct mail and social media won the top spots. Note the mention or eBooks, or, as I call them, white papers made interesting. David Meerman Scott believes these are about to break into the big time for all marketers.
  13. The heart of our survey was a simple question asking whether their interest and investment in a wide array of 23 different marketing tools or practices would go up or down in 2010. Of all 23, online communities was the highest rated tool, with 76% saying their interest would increase a little or a lot in 2010. In fact, based on what we’re seeing, online peer networks or communities may be the hottest topic in b-to-b marketing today. If these marketers put their money where their survey responses are, video is about to explode. Social media was 4th, with 73% saying their interest would increase a little or a lot. Note, though, the 18% who said their interest would decline a little. Is this possibly an indicator from early some adopters that social media is not all it’s cracked up to be? Search, already in significant use, shows little sign of abating. Blogs, which some would say fall under social media, ranked very high, too. A recent study by the ANA and BtoB magazine found that of all tactics available to them, b-to-b marketers planned to redouble their efforts in 2010 especially against blogs and mobile. Virtual and online events scored high, too, and we are seeing much higher adoption rates in the down economy. They’re replacing some physical events, but mainly are being used to supplement existing physical events. For example, after creating an online add-on to a small users conference, SAP got its normal 4,000 actual attendees and an additional 14,000 online. Surveys afterwards showed that 20% preferred the online format, 60% liked it, and only 20% did not like it.
  14. In this next slide, webinars and PR look to be bigger next year. But going against conventional wisdom, which says you shift branding dollars to demand generation tactics in a downturn, 58% of the marketers we surveyed said they would be investing a lot or a little more in branding next year, while only 13% said they’d be investing a little less. My interpretation is that they believe we’ll be coming out of the recession late this year, or early next, and they will want the differentiation and extra level of awareness and consideration branding will give them when customer budgets return. The 11% who say they’ll be decreasing their investment a little or a lot in LinkedIn surprised me, as I believe most b-to-b marketers have barely scratched the surface with what you can to do with LinkedIn to build both employer and customer brands, do research like never before with the LinkedIn Research Network, and do highly granular direct customer and prospect targeting through display advertising, InMail and other tools.
  15. Now, the third slide, where we see a very early-stage tactic—mobile—as well as tried-and-true and more offline legacy tactics bringing up the rear. Online ads, email and sales support are well established and generally well-funded tactics, so I’m not surprised to see lower positive interest and investment scores. Regarding mobile, it’s still early days—not enough b-to-b marketers are there yet. I’m surprised to see 34% of marketers planning to invest a little or a lot less in custom events, but I think I know why. Right now, with companies footing 100% of the bill, unlike at shared-cost events like trade shows, custom events are looking pretty expensive. Enough said already about direct mail, print ads and trade shows, although there is anecdotal evidence that, in some situations, direct mail actually is working harder, perhaps a result of less cluttered home and office mail boxes.
  16. We’re nearing the end, so just a few more data points. When asked if their marketing mix is more digital this year, 97% said yes.
  17. When asked what share digital activities would have in their 2010 program budgets, one out of four marketing leaders said 40% or more, while almost two-thirds said 20% or more.
  18. We asked the marketers how buyer behavior has changed, and the obvious answers we got back were longer sales cycles, delayed decisions, cost and fee pressures, larger competitive sets, etc. We saw some interesting responses to changed buyer behavior, as you see here. Starting with unbundling services and more aggressively promoting solutions that save money. Other responses included drafting stimulus packages of their own, investment in more consistent outreach, doing more marketing to accelerate steps in the buy cycle and more.
  19. Then we asked a perplexing question that seems to be on every marketer’s mind these days. How confident are you that you have achieved the optimal offline and online mix across your branding and demand generation programs? None said they were extremely confident that they were in marketing mix nirvana, but almost two-thirds said they were somewhat or very confident. And four out of 10 said they were not very or not at all confident. A lot of work still to do here.
  20. When asked what made them somewhat or very confident they had the optimal mix of offline and online tactics, those marketers cited measurement systems that told them so, customer feedback and response and level of sales leads and activity.
  21. With measurement in mind, we asked whether internal demand for measurement was increasing, and just over half said a little or a lot, while most of the other half said it’s stayed the same, and a small number said it’s actually decreased a little.
  22. Lastly, curious to know if these marketing leaders are still able to invest at least some of their budget in what we call marketing R&D, or marketing experimentation, 55% said yes.
  23. Since marketing R&D is a marketing department’s skunk works, we did not expect the marketing leaders we surveyed to be very open about what they’re testing, but a few responded mainly by citing the areas they’d told us earlier they be investing a little or a lot more in in 2010.
  24. Thank you.